By Carole Wilkinson
Part of the award-winning sequence, The Drum, and by way of the multi-award-winning writer Carole Wilkinson.
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Extra info for Fromelles. Australia's Bloodiest Day at War
The Germans strike back. Their big guns are aimed at the areas just behind the Allied lines where the soldiers are assembling. One of the 8th Brigade’s ammunition dumps is hit by an enemy shell, causing a massive explosion that kills signallers, messengers and medical staff. Lieutenant Colonel Toll, one of their battalion commanders, is wounded in the head. m. The Allied artillery-gunners readjust the angle of their guns and aim behind enemy lines. This is supposed to trick the Germans into thinking that the Allies are about to attack.
It’s like we’re at the Ritz. Except that during the night the guns started up. They’re miles away, but you can hear the roar of the artillery and feel the ground shake. This morning the sound of children laughing woke me and I got a look at our new digs. It’s a pretty little farm, but there are a few dings in the buildings where they’ve been hit by shells. The farm is busy. The whole family is out in the fields trying to carry on as if the war isn’t a few miles from their door. Something isn’t quite right.
We don’t take chickens,’ the coach said. I tried to explain that I’m under-age, but he wouldn’t listen. Mum says I shouldn’t take any notice. ’ It seems like she’s the only person in Melbourne who doesn’t want me to join the army. She’s hoping the war will be over before I turn 18 next year. ‘You should lie about your age. Tell ’em you’re only 16,’ she says. ‘I want you to stay here with me. ’ I gave her a hug. She only comes up to my shoulder. It’ll be hard for her when I go, and Billy won’t like it either.